New York (16-11) at Oakland (12-15)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 55° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Thu May 6, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Joe Torre has seen enough of Javier Vazquez to know the right-hander isn’t going to have much difficulty helping the New York Yankees in their quest to defend the American League title.

“The thing I’m most impressed with is how he bounces back after a bad pitch or a bad hitter,” Torre said of the 27-year-old right-hander. “He came here knowing how he wanted to pitch, and he wasn’t going to change that.”

Vazquez will look to continue impressing his manager when the red-hot Yankees try to complete a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics at Network Associates Coliseum.

Acquired from Montreal this past offseason in a deal that sent outfielder Juan Rivera and first baseman Nick Johnson to the Expos, Vazquez has thus far lived up to the potential he showed during his first six big league seasons.

He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his first five outings. On Friday, Vazquez limited Kansas City to two runs and a season-low two hits over eight innings in a 5-2 victory. He struck out five and didn’t issue a walk.

Vazquez retired the first 13 batters he faced, riding a no-hit bid into the fifth before surrendering a homer to Ken Harvey.

“I felt pretty good, but when you’re pitching, someone’s usually going to get a hit,” Vazquez said. “You’re not going to get a no-hitter every night you pitch. That’s just part of baseball. They’re going to hit home runs against you. You just have to forget about it and go on to the next one.”

The Yankees extended their season-high winning streak to eight games, and improved to 5-0 against Oakland with Wednesday’s come-from-behind 4-3 win. Alex Rodriguez homered off closer Arthur Rhodes leading off the ninth and Tony Clark delivered a two-out RBI double as New York remained unbeaten since suffering a three-game sweep to Boston from April 23-25.

Rodriguez has homered in two straight games. He delivered a three-run shot to help New York rally for a 10-8 win in Tuesday’s series opener.

The A’s have dropped nine of 11, and have squandered late leads in three of their five losses to New York this season.

“Getting your rear end beat wears you out,” manager Ken Macha said before Wednesday’s game.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

J. Vázquez Mia vs. R. Harden Oak
14-10 Record 11-7
4.91 ERA 3.99
150 K 167
60 BB 81
1.29 WHIP 1.33